SMUSA and anssa 2012-13

NBCAT Symposium
October 20, 2014
Who are we?
• Advocacy organization
• Seven member-student associations
• 37,794 students, 86% of all university students in Nova
• Local, out-of-province and international, young and mature,
undergraduate, graduate, professional and community
college students!
What do we do?
• We represent Nova Scotia’s students by:
• Researching the challenges they face
• Finding solutions to those challenges
• Creating the space for solutions to happen
• We do this through:
• Communicating with students
• Advocating to the Provincial Government
• Policy position papers
• Campaigns
Some of our results…
• Student assistance improvements worth approximately $24
million in four years
• Nova Scotia Graduate Student Scholarships worth $10,000
to $15,000 per year (300 recipients)
• Minimum wage tied to the Low-Income Cut-Off, reaching
highest rate in Canada
• Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner services in Cape Breton
and Southwest Nova Scotia
• Election act amendments allowing more students to vote
• Nova Scotia University Student Bursary, reducing tuition by
$1283 for Nova Scotia residents and $261 for out-ofprovince students (2008-2011)
Dropping some PSE Knowledge
• How do you think university revenues and expenses changed
from 1990 to 2009?
• 202% increase, or 10% per year
• Funded overwhelmingly through 157% increase in tuition
• How does Canada rank in OECD for PSE spending?
• 3rd with 2.5% of GDP NS: 3.7% of GDP
• 3rd in total funds per student at $20,932 vs. $13,728
• How does Canada rank for public spending on PSE?
• 3rd at 4.7%
• Canada first in the world in share of total public education
expenditure to PSE at 38%, vs. OECD average of 23.5%
Dropping some PSE Knowledge
• How much funding has been cut from NS universities’ operating
grants over the past four years, in real dollars?
• $61 million
• What is the student debt picture in Nova Scotia?
• $30,200 vs. $22,300 nationally
• Has fallen from $32,700 in 2005
• Based on current demographic trends in NS and across Canada,
what proportion of students will be international by 2031-32
• More than twice today’s numbers at 30%
• How much have ancillary fees increased across Nova Scotia since
• Fully 40%, more than 100% increase in Facilities Renewal Fees,
worth $3 million from students in total
Take away messages
• Whether we like it or not, the funding situation for universities
and colleges looks to be tight for the foreseeable future
• Universities are going to become much more international,
colleges will also be forced to change
• Nova Scotians expect more from their PSE institutions,
especially universities
• Better quality of education
• More services in a range of different areas
• More economic, social and cultural impact
• The Nova Scotia Commission on Building our New
Economy (2014): “it is essential that our PSE institutions
maintain a competitive position that is primarily driven by
• Interviews and focus groups
• Student Assemblies at Acadia, Dalhousie (grad students), CBU, and
• Met with reps from: university and NSCC administration, ANSUT,
Provincial government; MPHEC; PLA Centre
• Literature review
Academic journals
MPHEC data/reports
Governmental documents
Reports from PSE policy organizations (ex. HESA, OUSA,
Defining Quality
Approaches to Quality
1. Quality as exceptional
2. Quality as perfection or consistency
3. Quality as fitness for purpose- mission
4. Quality as value for money
5. Quality as transformation
• Source: Harvey & Knight (1996), Transforming Higher
Education, p. 2
What matters to students?
• 1, 2, 5: Instructors’ teaching competence, communication skills
and up-to-date knowledge of subject matter
• 3, 4, 7, 8, 10: Administrators’ leadership abilities and concern for
• 6, 9: Student commitment and ability
Harvey and Knight, 2006, p. 34.
StudentsNS Values
• Quality: Policies, programs, and services in postsecondary education should meet student expectations
to help prepare them for lifelong success, including in
their citizenship, careers, and personal wellbeing.
• Student Voice: Nova Scotia students must be
empowered to actively participate in setting their postsecondary system’s direction via engagement through
their representative student bodies, within the postsecondary institutions themselves, and through the
broader democratic process.
• Learning Outcomes
• Credit Transfer information
• Quality Assurance
Learning outcomes
• Develop degree-level learning outcomes common to all
• Implement the Collegiate Learning Assessment to assess the
incoming and graduating student-body
• Pilot an ePortfolio program at a Nova Scotia university
Credit Transfer Information
• The MPHEC should develop a database to show students the
equivalencies of courses taken across the Maritimes
• The MPHEC should conduct further research into credit transfer
Quality Assurance
• Certification Program for universities that meet standards
• Funding and international recruitment should be conditional on
• Standard reporting tool for universities on inputs, outputs and
secondary outcomes
• Students should not have to waste time and money taking classes
on material they have already mastered
• A university credential needs to mean something concrete that
everyone can understand, including especially the student
• Universities must put the student and public interest first
• Professors and PSE institutionsmust be accountable for whether
their student learn
• What is the conversation we need to have?
• Possibles:
• How can we make RPL a reality in our provinces’ PSE institutions?
• Why isn’t RPL higher on the radar?
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